July 24th, 2017  |  Edition # 06

Our photo of the week is The Evening Commute (Naija style) by photographer @hammond_robin. Nigeria's economy is undeniably one of the most vibrant in Africa. With a population of 21 million and a GDP of $136 billion, Lagos has been described as the world's fastest growing mega city. At the end of a busy work day, yellow buses aka Danfos crowd into Idumota Market on Lagos Island, to pick up people returning to the mainland. This is Lagos Oh, Shine Your Eye! 




WhatsApp is hurting mobile revenue growth in Africa, Telcos want to fight back

There's a hole in my pocket, Dear Liza... That's what telecommunications companies (Telcos) are saying right now.  According to a recent report by GSMA, Telcos in Sub-Saharan Africa have been losing cash money since 2013. Habba!

But aren't Telcos awash with cash?... Turns out they're not. Despite a fast growing mobile subscriber base of 13% annually (compared to 1.5% in Europe and 3% in North America), mobile revenue in Africa has taken a nosedive.

So let's back track. Remember the good old days when if you wanted to talk to Uncle Henry in Switzerland, you had to either a) buy a phone card---remember those?---and speak for 2.2 minutes before being unceremoniously cut off, or b) buy airtime or mobile credit and pray that the phone lines would go through without you having to say "Hello, can you hear me?" more than 3 times. Well, fast forward to 2017 and times have changed.

There's a new kid on the block... His name is Whatsapp and dude is seriously disrupting the Telcos industry in Africa. Today, more people use Over-the-top (OTT) messaging platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Skype to chat and make calls. This is hurting giant operators like MTN, Vodafone and Orange, who are losing revenue daily and struggling to keep up with the competition. 

Is this just a phase?... Nope. The trend is here to stay and the word on the street (from London-based research and analytics firm Ovum) is that the Telcos industry will lose a combined $386 billion between 2012 and 2018. This is due to loss of revenue from SMS, local/international calls and roaming fees that
telcos previously received from customers

Bottom line... The Telcos are not happy. After having invested heavily in building the underlying network infrastructure---bye-bye, 2G!---consumers today are now using this same infrastructure to make calls and send messages using third-party applications. As smart phone penetration across the continent increases, the shift towards platforms like Whatsapp is also expected to rise. Thanks in part to younger, tech-savvy users who will account for the majority of new mobile subscribers. Perhaps there's still hope for Telcos in Africa to counter this “cannibalization of traditional voice and messaging revenues." Here's a thought: Instead of regulating, why not innovate and diversify? Just saying.


Yahya Jammeh's out. 4G smartphones are in. And African stock markets are up. This week, the Dow Jones African Titans jumped 3.83 points. By the time markets closed on Friday, most indices on our radar ended on a positive note.
Winners: Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Uganda

Losers: Tanzania, Morocco, Mauritius, Tunisia


  • London, UK: Founding Women: Inspiring African Female Tech Entrepreneurs, July 26th
  • Lusaka, Zambia: Slush Global Impact Accelerator for startups, July 27th
  • London, UK: 2nd Annual Business in Africa Pays: Summer Networking Drinks, July 27th
  • Douala, Cameroon: Startup Grind powered by Google: Launching chapter for tech entrepreneurs, July 29th
  • Delaware, USA: Millenial Summit: Young Professionals Conference, August 1st
  • Lagos, Nigeria: Finance Fundamentals for Startups & SMEs, August 5th
You can feature your events in Baobab Biz. It's easy! Here's how
Jack Ma, aka founder of the online retail giant Alibaba and Asia's richest man, visited Kenya and Rwanda to empower youth through entrepreneurship. Speaking at the University of Nairobi and at the Youth Connekt Summit in Kigali, Ma offered tips on how to build a successful business. He was accompanied by 38 Chinese billionaires hunting for investment opportunities. This was Ma's first trip to Africa. Alibaba’s market value is over US$231 billion. 
The race to space is so on! Ghana has successfully launched its first satellite into the cosmos. Check out the dashing development team behind this $ 500,000 project. Thanks for making us proud Ghana.
When @Marapolsa asked "What Nigerian name do you think would suit Rihanna?", Nigerians on twitter were all over it like maggi on jollof rice. Here are the top 5 names:
  1. Folake  
  2. Ifeoma
  3. Rihannatu
  4. Chiamaka
  5. Ngozi
Once again, China is stepping up its investment game in Africa by training the next generation of transportation and aviation experts. Apparently, 500 aviation personnel from the continent will begin training this year. 
This was the last week to sign up for Tech Crunch's inaugural Startup Battlefield Africa. In partnership with Facebook, the competition will feature several startups aspiring to be crowned: "Most promising startup in Africa." The winner takes home $25,000. For all you entrepreneurs out there (and wanna-be-preneurs) trying to start a business, be sure to check it out. 
Young African Millenials (YAMs)
Have a fantastic week ahead. Please send your instagram photos, tweet worthy comments and funny youtube videos to Remember, "Wisdom is like a baobab tree. No one person can embrace it but a tribe can." 


PS: Thank you for checking out Baobab Biz. If you like it, subscribe and while you're at it, tell a friend or two. Shout-out to Clifford Owusu  (@kappacinco) and co. for doing the Azonto dance in the Bronx, New York. Till next time...

A weekly newsletter for the ones who dare to believe that Africa is the future

Baobab Biz is a counter-culture content platform, focused on engaging business, entrepreneurship and tech news from The Rising Continent. Whether you’re in London, Lagos, Limpopo or Los Angeles, we’ve got you covered.

Delivered to your inbox every Monday at 7am (WAT)
Copyright © 2017 Baobab Biz, All rights reserved.
Baobab Biz is in your inbox because you hit that subscribe button

Our mailing address is:

Baobab Biz
303 Rue des Manguiers
P.O. Box 15532
Douala, Cameroon


This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Baobab Biz · Rue des Manguiers · B.P. 15532 · Douala 0 · Cameroon

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp